Looking past Bollywood: Intellectual Indian cinema sets sail

by Peter D. Marshall

by Guy Dixon.

For acclaimed Indian playwright turned filmmaker Anand Gandhi, the best place to escape Bollywood is right at its centre, in bustling Mumbai, willfully ignoring the latest commercial releases. “I don’t know anything about them,” the 31-year-old director says with a wave of his hand and a toothy grin. “I don’t watch them. I try to avoid looking at the posters when I step out of my house. I try to keep it completely out of my field of vision.”

Instead, his highly independent first feature, Ship of Theseus, showcased in the Toronto International Film Festival’s program City to City: Mumbai, examines the other sides of India’s most populous city. The daily struggles of a blind artist, the ascetic routines of an ailing monk, a stockbroker coming into contact with the illicit trade in human organs: Gandhi uses these to illustrate how the chaos of Mumbai serves as an elaborate system of cause and effect, one life impacting another. The stories are fiction, but they are really philosophical essays rendered on the screen.

Read the rest of this article from Globe and Mail.

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